2010: Meet Duke, an 18 month old entire merle boy and read his very sad story.
Three weeks ago myself and another foster mum sat in Lissi’s kitchen awaiting the arrival of Duke. We had been warned he was in a poor condition but nothing could of prepared us for what we were about to see.
The door bell rang, Lissi answered it but Duke had been left in the car. Lissi and I went out to collect him. The initial feeling was what a very depressed looking dog and then we opened the door and were hit by the overwhelming stench. As Duke clambered from the car it was all to clear this boy was in immense pain and had been suffering for many months.
Once inside we examined Duke, 40% of his fur was missing and in its place was incrusted leathery skin on his stomach and red and inflamed on his face, chin, neck and in all the creases and around his testicles. It was impossible to attach any form of collar, halti or body harness. The skin was also very hot to touch. Duke was also very itchy which didn’t help his skin condition. His feet were very swollen and the pads were split and infected, thus making it extremely uncomfortable for him to walk. Duke’s ears were so infected that they were completely blocked with discharge and his eyes were so swollen and infected that he couldn’t see a thing, so he would bump into things, causing himself more discomfort. Duke’s head hung low and his tailed remained between his legs. The three of us were reduced to tears at the astonishment that anyone could be cruel enough to watch this dog go through immense suffering day after day and not seek any treatment for him.
I took Duke straight to the vets, he was prescribed a cocktail of tablets and tonics and also a special shampoo for his skin for daily baths. Duke was also prescribed a special diet costing £60 for a 10kg bag. This wasn’t going to last very long considering he was approximately 15kg underweight. I was told that it was very unlikely Duke would make a full recovery as his skin had been left far too long without treatment.
Three weeks into treatment which been very expensive, Duke had a follow up appointment and the vets couldn’t believe the extraordinary change in Dukes appearance and manner. Dukes leathery inflamed skin is more supple and there are signs of his fur growing. His ear infection has gone and his eyes are less swollen so he is able to see. Duke still has along way to go and there are still no guarantees he will make a full recovery. Ongoing treatment and diet will be expensive and he still has an operation to get through.
All this considered Duke is the most gentle boy you could meet. He has accepted the endless cleaning of his eyes and ears followed with drops the daily bathing and the cocktail of pills he is taking. Duke loves to be with people and has settled very nicely. He has just started enjoying short walks now his pads have recovered and enjoys meeting people and socialising with all other dogs.
Duke really is one in a million and deserve the best care to help him through his recovery. He is due to visit the vets again in a month so I will keep you updated with his progress.
Below are some pictures of how Duke looks today, just three weeks into treatment.
One month on and Duke is recovering very well. He’s been away on 2 camping holidays which he adjusted to very quickly and just this week he had a day trip to Cotswold Wildlife Park. Wherever we take Duke he always attracts a crowd and thoroughly enjoys all the fuss and attention. Duke seems to be able to adjust to any situation without a fuss, he loves going for a ride in the car, he’s fine in other peoples houses, he’s not bothered by aeroplanes flying over or being close to a train track. He’s met people of ages and dogs of all sizes, pigs, horses, ducks,donkeys, cows and goats, none of which have bothered him. Duke does have a down side, his recall isn’t the best he will come back eventually but usually when he’s ready and also he doesn’t like being left. Both of these are being worked on and I’m sure with patience we’ll get there.
Duke has been back to the vets. He has gained another 3kg, just another 3kg to go and he can have his operation. Duke’s skin is healing nicely and there is a light covering of fine hair. Duke has stopped taking some of the pills but he still has several to take 3 times a day. His baths are now weekly instead of daily and he is still on a special costly diet. Overall the outlook is looking far more positive for Duke now.
Here are some photos of Duke on his holiday and relaxing at home.
Hi remember me, I’m Duke. I’m sure you’ll all be wondering what happened to me so I thought I’d give you a quick update.
Well I’ve now been adopted by my foster family, they couldn’t bear to see me go because I’m such a good boy you see. I usually do as I’m told and am great around people of all ages, all other dogs and wildlife. My sore skin turned out to be a food allergy, so its a plain diet for me but I get extra cuddles and toys to play with as my rewards. I’ve gained 15kg (which is good) that was enough to have me castrated (not so good) and vaccinated. What more can I say. I regularly get new play mates to stay while they are waiting for their forever homes and I often go and visit Auntie Lissi (she makes a fuss of me too).
Life really is great now, so if you feel you have time in your lives to adopt one of the many dogs Daneline has awaiting their permanent home, please give Lissi or Sue a call.
If you know of a Great Dane in need, please click here to see how to contact us.